The XXL-Sized Problem With Kylie Jenner's 'Thick' Collection
The Debrief: Kylie Jenner's co-option of the word 'thick' is yet another example of the curve community being exploited.
Not many people would expect Kylie Jenner’s clothing store to cater to all sizes. However, when the youngest Jenner sister started sharing imagery of her new line, embossed brazenly with the word, ‘THICK!’ and modelled by prominent curve model Barbie Ferreira, I (stupidly) hoped so. In reality, Kylie’s “Thick” merchandise only goes up to a size large - a UK size 16 and an American 12.
Considering Jenner’s previous lines ran up to a size 2XL, it feels especially redundant that the range of sizes has been reduced on the very items that are cashing in on what thicker, bigger, curvier women are meant to represent. While it’s still up for debate whether it’s fine for Jenner to market her brand as thick at all, the lack of inclusion of plus size women feels like just another setback for the curvy community.
Recently, thanks to people like Jenner’s famous sisters as well as social media, curves has become a mainstream beauty standard. The things that plus size women have been mocked for - their hips, their thighs, their asses and breasts – are suddenly desirable. But only desirable when they fit into the a specific ‘thick’ aesthetic: one of thin waists, flat stomachs and ridiculous proportions.
Not only are these types of bodies incredibly hard to attain and maintain, but they are marketed as if they’re only achievable through products that social media stars advertise online. We’re told that only when we’ve purchased a waist trainer and bum firming lotion, do we fit the new standard for beauty and are then allowed to purchase the Kylie Jenner endorsed ‘thick’ merch. And, this goes without saying, you still have to be smaller than a size large.
The fact that the bikini set and sportswear labelled with ‘thick’ in Jenner’s collection also comes in a size XS feels laughable. While I don’t wish to exclude thinner women from any situation, this slogan should belong to plus size women. It’s the opposite of thinness; the opposite of what has been the ideal for the majority of our lives. Now, as thickness is turned into a positive, the plus size community is still ignored from the conversation.
It seems unlikely that Jenner deliberately set out to make to exclude anyone, and I’m far from claiming that. But decisions like these affect real people on a very real, conscious level. Every micro-aggression counts towards a larger, social construct of hate against plus size people and this particular exclusion of plus sizes in a 'thick' labelled range definitely contributes to it.
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